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  1. #1
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    Climbing on a 27.5

    I have a 26 xc hard tail and a 29 xc hard tail. On the 26 I'm running lower pressure tubeless and get very good traction. On the 29er I'm running regular tubes and I get incredible traction. On the 26 I have to get the exact body position for ultimate traction whereas on the 29er I can pretty much stand, sit or do whatever I want and the rear never spins out or loses traction. How does a 27.5 compare? Is the traction more similar to a 26 or 29? If possible I would prefer a 27er as I'm only 5'7" and I think a smaller wheel makes more sense from a geometry and fit perspective. Any input would be appreciated. Real life experiences not theoretical please.

  2. #2
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    29er traction + 26er traction/(log 29/26) *tubeless factor (k)

  3. #3
    just some guy
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    To my delighted surprise my 650b bike (a hardtail w tubes) is much closer to a 29er in traction.

  4. #4
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    I'm 5'8" and I find the traction on my 650b superior to my last bike a 26" trek liquid.
    Having said that I think the difference could be contributed in part to geo
    I think it would take someone who has the same exact bike that is made in both wheel sizes to really judge this.
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  5. #5
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    traction on climbs i think comes down to geo and technique. One rider can climb a bike with bad geo and good technique and not spin out. Another can be on a great bike with bad technique and spin out badly.

    With the larger than 26" wheels, I think this: smooth climbs require little technique and just momentum 26" advantage here. Technical climbs favors larger than 26" with easier roll-over size
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  6. #6
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    Climbing on a 27.5

    My jamis Dragon 650 & kent eriksen 650 climb like goats!....

  7. #7
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    Giant did some geekery on this and found that 275 contact patch is very close to the 29 contact patch, all else equal.

    I find that to be true from my 275 experience. I'm also a fat-rim fan. The Inferno27 replaced my last set of Velocity Blunt 275 rims and I've been very happy with the tire profile on both rims.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    Giant did some geekery on this
    I'd call it tomfoolery.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    29er traction + 26er traction/(log 29/26) *tubeless factor (k)
    You forgot to multiply by pi, you always need the pi!!!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    You forgot to multiply by pi, you always need the pi!!!
    I got through college on partial credit.

  11. #11
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    Yes, everybody loves Pi!
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  12. #12
    Wrench
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    Proof!

    I put my Nemesis on a local hill.

    It didn't climb. In fact, it went BACKWARDS!

    So much for 27.5! It's all hype!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post
    I put my Nemesis on a local hill.

    It didn't climb. In fact, it went BACKWARDS!

    So much for 27.5! It's all hype!
    You're doing it wrong.

    I got on my Banshee Rune 650B and I didn't even have to turn the pedals, it just started floating and pretty soon I was on the top of the mountain.

    But it could have been the geometry, so....

  14. #14
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    i was on 26" wheels before i converted my bike to 650b. the difference was not ground breaking but i could definetly tell the bike rolls better in technical. now have been riding 650b wheels for over year, i switched back to 26" just to see what happens. i can tell you that switching back to 26" is noticeable as hell . most noticeable for me was loss of rear traction on steep and/or loose climbs
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  15. #15
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by spadmike View Post
    I have a 26 xc hard tail and a 29 xc hard tail. On the 26 I'm running lower pressure tubeless and get very good traction. On the 29er I'm running regular tubes and I get incredible traction. On the 26 I have to get the exact body position for ultimate traction whereas on the 29er I can pretty much stand, sit or do whatever I want and the rear never spins out or loses traction. How does a 27.5 compare? Is the traction more similar to a 26 or 29? If possible I would prefer a 27er as I'm only 5'7" and I think a smaller wheel makes more sense from a geometry and fit perspective. Any input would be appreciated. Real life experiences not theoretical please.
    My 29er is a hardtail singlespeed with a 70 degree head angle, 100mm fork, and 17.8" chainstays. My 27.5 bike has 150mm travel front and rear, a 66.7 degree head angle, and 16.8" chainstays. I can describe the differences in the way they climb but most of it has nothing to do with wheel diameter.

    Mine might be a bit of an extreme example but in general, geometry differences matter as much or more than wheel size when it comes to climbing traction, even when comparing two bikes of a similar style.

    I tested a lot of different 5.5-6" travel bikes when I was looking for my most recent purchase. The only 29er I tried was the Tallboy LTc and I didn't like the handling at all. I tried several really terrific 26" wheeled bikes but there was always this little adjustment period for me where I had to get used to feeling the small trail irregularities. I didn't feel the same thing with the two 27.5" bikes I tried (Norco Sight and RM Altitude) but their handling felt just as good to me as the 26" bikes (Ibis Mojo HD and Mojo SLR, Turner 5 Spot, Specialized SJ Evo, 2012 Norco Sight, Intense Carbine SL).
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  16. #16
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    I think tire width matters as much, or more than diameter when it comes to traction. What would happen if you put a 26" 2.4 tire and 27.5" 2.2 tire on the same bike?

  17. #17
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    I have a nearly bald Quasi Moto on my 650b. When I'm out of the saddle in sand over hard pack it spins out. I suspect things will improve drastically when I get around to replacing the tire.

    The point is that chain stay length, seat tube angle, tire, and handle bar height all impact how a bike will climb - all affect climbing more than the tire diameter. Not all bikes with a given wheel size climb similarly.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    You forgot to multiply by pi, you always need the pi!!!
    Thanks for all the input so far! I;ve been riding my 26 more and more and I think I will probably go for a 27er as I am not as crazy about my 29er. Handling is still off and it's probably because it is a small bike etc. I guess with a 27er, one can have his pi and eat it too?

  19. #19
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    Hi Everyone, My name is Justin and I work at Giant USA. I am 5'8", I like riding xc and all mountain. I currently ride a 29er and tried a 27.5 in Whistler. I noticed quickly on how quick the 27.5 accelerated and its maneuverability on tight switchbacks and tech terrain. I liked it's snappy climbing ability to.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinGiantUSA View Post
    Hi Everyone, My name is Justin and I work at Giant USA. I am 5'8", I like riding xc and all mountain. I currently ride a 29er and tried a 27.5 in Whistler. I noticed quickly on how quick the 27.5 accelerated and its maneuverability on tight switchbacks and tech terrain. I liked it's snappy climbing ability to.
    Do you think that you.... working for GIANT , who is now 100% in on 650B would come on a public forum and say "My name is Justin and I work at Giant USA. I am 5'8", I like riding xc and all mountain. I currently ride a 29er and tried a 27.5 in Whistler and it sucked the big one".........just saying......

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